The Sandwich Guy: Affordable Sandwiches, Pasta and More

I rarely have the time to go out and catch up with old friends.  As a foodie, the only way I know how to hang out is to eat out.  But, things turned out to be much more challenging since my dear friend turned out to be a health-conscious one.  Lucky for us, there's The Sandwich Guy at SM North Edsa.

the sandwich guy
The Sandwich Guy is a kiosk type booth at the center of the 3rd level at The Block.  It adopted a green and orange theme with hexagon shapes from tables, chairs and even their products.

the sandwich guy
Their booths are cute and cozy.  It's not only ideal for a casual meal but its also great for a short chit chat with your companion.

Food

All Time Favorites
the sandwich guy tsg bigtime
TSG Bigtime (150 php)
I decided to trust the public opinion and go for the TSG Bigtime under their All Time Favorites section.  It also seemed like the grandest choice among their selections.  The sandwich was properly wrapped it their special wax paper when served.  Since I was sharing it with my friend, I had it cut into halves.  The TSG Bigtime, like all their sandwiches, had a hexagon shape.  This led me to conclude that their wheat breads are custom made since you can't find those anywhere else.  Wheat bread is rich in fiber which absorbs cholesterol and promotes a healthy digestive system.  The bread had grill marks similar to a panini.


the sandwich guy tsg bigtime
TSG Bigtime (150 php)
The TSG Bigtime is a double-layered sandwich.  The top layer had lettuces, cucumbers, roast beef and cheese sauce.  While the second layer had cucumbers, bacon, ham, mayonnaise and cheese.  As the name implies, this is a huge sandwich that is sure to satisfy you hunger.  Not only is it loaded with ingredients, it is also bountiful in terms of flavor.  The organic vegetables were fresh and crunchy.  My friend who is fond of the cheese sauce enjoyed this sandwich and finished it way before I did.    


seafood pesto
Seafood Pesto (80 php)
The pasta seemed really affordable so we tried the Seafood Pesto.   It's a peso pasta with crab sticks, tuna and slices of cheese.  It is served in a plastic container which makes it ready for take out.  The serving size is quite generous for the price.  The taste is just right too.  


cheesy bacon potato
Cheesy Bacon Potato (95 php)
The Cheesy Bacon Potato is a bowlful baby potatoes drenched in cheese sauce and topped with bacon bits.  If you love cheese sauce, you'll surely enjoy this dish.  However, I felt that we made a mistake in ordering this because our sandwich already had cheese sauce and it became too monotonous for our taste.  So perhaps, its better to choose a side dish with a different ingredient next time.  

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
The Sandwich Guy offers affordable sandwiches, pasta and other dishes that makes it competitive against fast food chains.  Their concept is nice because only a few establishments are focused on healthy meals.  This is perfect for those who are on a diet too since one whole wheat bread has only 65 calories as compared to one cup of rice which has 205 calories.  And, since they have a wide selection of sandwiches, you can choose the one that will fit your diet plan.  

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating The Sandwich Guy Menu
Ambiance Menu
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
The Sandwich Guy SM North The Block
Business Address 3rd Level, The Block, SM City North EDSA
North Avenue corner EDSA
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-9pm (mall hours)
Payment Options Cash
Service Charge
Budget/Person 70-200
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 571-3628
Other  Facebook Fan Page | Website
The Sandwich Guy SM North The Block Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Dairy Queen: Jack-O-Lantern Dilly Bar

As we passed by Dairy Queen on the way to the Robinson's Super Market at Robinson's Place, we noticed that they have a new ice cream just for this Halloween called the "Jack-O-Lantern Dilly Bar"
The poster looks really enticing.  We were so curious we just had to buy one.  Of course, we wanted to know if it is exactly the same as advertised. =D


Jack-O-Lantern Dilly Bar (39 php)
As I got it out of the wrapper, I was amazed that the Jack-O-Lantern Dilly Bar is even cuter than the poster.  It is a bit smaller than the usual dilly bar but cheaper too.  It is perfect for kids and kids at heart like us.  It is in reality the same as the original dilly bar except that this one is coated with orange colored white chocolate.  The brown part if the same chocolate dip as the original dilly bar though.  

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
The Jack-O-Lantern Dilly Bar is a fun Halloween ice treat for your kids and yourself.  The creativity of Dairy Queen is awesome.  It's a great way to break tradition and expand Halloween treats to include ice cream bars too.  Try it while available.

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Village Tavern: The Place for Good American Dishes

I've been venturing the Bonifacio High Street Central restaurants one at a time due to budget restraints.  So when my friends at The Foodies Circle decided to dine at Village Tavern, I was overwhelmed with excitement.  

village tavern


village tavern
The Village Tavern is another restaurant belonging to the Bistro Group.  Whatever visualization you have of a tavern, I'm sure the Village Tavern is much more sophisticate and extravagant than that.  It has beautiful chandeliers, a luxurious bar, an extensive wine collection, velvet lofts and well cushioned leatherette seats.  


village tavern
The walls are beautifully painted and the booths offer privacy perfect for any meeting.  Other than for food, our group intnded our visit to be a dinner meeting for our first ever out-of-town trip.  We also have not seen each other for more than a month so we were all laid back and chatting the night away due to the cozy atmosphere of Village Tavern.

Food

Small Plates
sesame teriyaki chicken wings
♥ Sesame Teriyaki Chicken Wings (225 php)
We started of with the Sesame Teriyaki Chicken Wings.  It reminds me of buffalo wings.  But, this is better because it has some sweetness from the teriyaki sauce and fragrant sesame flavor.  


fully loaded sweet potato skins
Fully-Loaded Sweet Potato Skins (240 php)
My family loves sweet potatoes.  At home, my mom just boils them and my family would enjoy them.  But, it was not the same case for me.  I only like sweet potatoes when fried in fries.  Yet, to my surprise, I loved the  Fully-Loaded Sweet Potato Skins.  It was just so flavorful with the natural sweetness of the potatoes, more sweetness and sourness from the jalapenos, savory bacon and rich cream cheese.  The sweet potato skins were so crunchy too that it completes the whole experience.  Although this is really heavy, I just couldn't stop myself from munching on these.

homemade jalapeno poppers
♥ Homemade Jalapeno Poppers (290 php)
I love the Homemade Jalapeno Poppers.  It had a perfect crunchy breaded-crust filled with cheese and spicy and tangy jalapenos.  It gets better when dipped in the sauce too.

Pizzas
black pizza
Black Pizza (395 php)
The Black Pizza has squid in on its though for coloring.  It is topped with parmesan, gruyere, mozzarella, pepperoni, mushrooms, bell peppers and onions.  Except for the edges, I could hardly taste the squid ink.  But, its still a nice experience since I've never eaten a Black Pizza before.


forest pizza
♥ Forest Pizza (475 php)
The Forest Pizza is a sensational pizza to remember.  It has asiago cream, wild mushrooms, walnuts, mozzarella, parmesan cheese and truffle oil.  This pizza is full of delightful scents and flavors that will surely delight ones tastebuds.

Burgers & Sandwiches
cowboy burger
Cowboy Burger (595 php)
The Cowboy Burger has a thick beef patty, apple-wood smoked bacons, oozing cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and barbecue sauce.  This is a wholesome burger that's sweet and meaty.  I also loved the sweet potato fries that's served with it.

Steak House
black angus beef steak
♥ Black Angus Beef Steak
  • Marinated Flank Steak 8 oz (895 php)
  • Ribeye 8 oz (1,395 php)
  • Fillet Mignon 8 oz (1,450 php)
  • Ribeye 12 oz (1,950 php)
  • New York Strip 12 oz (1,995 php)

Their Black Angus Beef Steak is aged, hand-cut and grilled to the perfect temperature which make it tender and succelent.  Although I prefer my steak medium and this was cooked well-done, I was still able to appreciate the flavors and juices from the Black Angus Beef Steak.  

If you haven't tried this or want to try it again, now is the best time to avail because there is an ongoing promo called "The Great Steakoutwhich offers their steaks at 40% OFF from October 19, 2012 onwards, Fridays to Sundays, until supplies last.


texas baby back ribs
♥ Texas Baby Back Ribs (P650-half)
The Texas Baby Back Ribs is unlike the usual because it has a cola and chiptotle glaze.  It has this slight taste of caramel and pleasant tinge of acidity.  The meat is also soft and easy to eat.  

Homemade Desserts
very best carrot cake
Very Best Carrot Cake (345 php)
The Very Best Carrot Cake is a huge piece of carrot cake drenched in sweet cream cheese sauce.  The carrot cake itself is moist and tasty on its own.  Together with the sauce, it is a great meal-ender that is best shared among your companions.

Beverages
green mango fruit shake
Green Mango Fruit Shake (140 php)

Other Bistro Group Restaurant Reviews
Bulgogi Brothers
Italianni's Restaurant
Krazy Garlic
Ma Maison (closed)
Modern Shanghai
SikLab Filipino Favorites
Tonkatsu by Terazawa
Watami 1 | Watami 2

Update (May 2013): Revisited for their 1st year anniversary menu additions

Update (July 19, 2014): The family loved the Monterey Chicken.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Village Tavern is a great place for good American Dishes.  They have their own special way with their dishes that makes them worth the try even if the price is quite expensive.  The ambiance is superb so its impressive for any gatherings.  

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Village Tavern Menu
Ambiance Small Plates | Salads and Soups |
Flatbreads and Pizzas | Burgers and Sandwiches |
Homemade Desserts | Beverages | 
Alcholic Beverages | Liquors | 
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Village Tavern
Business Address 2nd level Bonifacio High Street Central,
7th Avenue corner 29th Street,
Taguig City, Metro Manila
Business Hours Mon-Thurs: 11am-11pm
Fri-Sun: 11am-12am
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 600-1,500
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 621-3245
Other  Website | Facebook Fan Page
Village Tavern Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Chardonnay: My Favorite Wine


Chardonnay is on of the best selling white wine around the world.  It is made from Chardonnay which is a green-skinned grape variant. It originated in Burgundy of Eastern France but  because it is adaptable to various climates it is now planted in fields around the world but the best ones come from France, Italy, USA, Chile, Australia and New Zealand and South Africa.  Thus, millions of bottles of chardonnay are produced per year.  The high supply therefor results in lower price.  You can buy a bottle of Chardonnay under 15 USD.  

A Chardonnay has many types of aromas and flavors.  Chardonnays aromas variants are butter and toast, tropical notes of banana, pineapple and guava.  It is usually described to have mineral properties too like crushed seashells or metal.  In terms of flavor, it can be like grilled nuts, creamy apples,marzipan, wet stones, peach, golden syrup, butterscotch, sweet, oak overtones,tropical fruits,  citrus and melon.

The variation of Chardonnay is caused by the two schools of thought.  One side aims for the high-toned steely, fruity taste like green apples which makes use of little or no oak.  On the other hand, the other seeks a rounder and buttery taste caused by the malic acid converted into softer lactic acid during malolactic fermentation.  

The Chardonnay is best served chilled.  The best Chardonnay are rich, steely, lean and crisp.  Although Chardonnay can be paired with almost anything.  It is best paid with poultry, pork, seafood, heavy cream or butter based and garlicky dishes. The food can also vary depending on the type of Chardonnay.  The more acidic ones are often paired with sweet onion or tomato-based dishes.  While mellow ones are more suitable for earthy dishes like aged cheese and mushroom soup.

Depending on your preference and budget, I'm sure you'll find a Chardonnay that will please you in every way.  Here's some of the Chardonnay you can try:
  • Alma Rosa 2005
  • Concannon Conservancy 2009
  • Domaine du Chateau de Meursault Premier Cru 2009
  • La Crema Sonoma Coast 2009
  • Les Vins Georges Dubœuf Vin de Pays d'Oc Terradria Collection 2007
  • Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2010 
  • Saint Jean de Noviciat Vin de Pays d'Oc Mas du Novi 2009


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Cha Dao Tea Place: Black Milk Tea

Last month, I had to photocopy some notes at Dapitan Street.  It was a hot day so I decided to stop by for some milk tea at Cha Dao Tea Place.

Cha Dao Tea Place is a small kiosk with three small wooden tables and matching wooden benches.  It had a yellow green theme which I find very pleasing to the eyes.  It also reminds me of green tea leaves which I find adequate for a milk tea store.


It had a bulletin board field with comments from customer, posters and random ads for text mates and other things. It was pretty amusing to look at while waiting for your order.  The place is air-conditioned so its a nice place to hang out.  Since its nearby Univeristy of Sto. Tomas, its no surprise that most of its customers are students.  Of course, I could tell based on their uniforms.  

Drinks
Black Milk Tea L (50 php)
Upon glancing on their menu, I was noticed that their pricing is adequate for students.  I ordered a Black Milk Tea for only 50 php.  I understand that everyone has their preference when it comes to milk tea.  Their blending is recommendable for people who prefer their milk tea to be light.  I sense more of the milk side than the tea side for this drink.  I observe a lot of students coming in and out of the store happily sipping and loving their drinks.  Sadly, it was not what I prefer.  Next time, I'll order something else from them.  What variant do you think would suit me?

They also give away T-shirts and other FREE items to they loyal customers and fans like this T-shirt.  I love Assam so this statement shirt speaks my heart.  I loved this "Assam is Awesome!"  shirt because i could never have though of a better way to make assam sound so cool. =D


At the back of the shirt is Cha Dao Tea Place logo.  If you want to get one of this, keep yourself updates with their contests and promos.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Cha Dao Tea Place is a great place to hang out because its cool, clean and cozy.  Students are lucky to have an affordable place to hang out in.  As low as 50 php, you can buy a cool cup of tea.  At their price, even students can easily buy a cup or two.  A cup of tea is a good caffeine boost for any lazy class day.  It is also a good source of anti-oxydants.  The staffs are also very friendly.  They are very happy to serve and they attend to you in a quick manner.  But since the space is quite limited, it might not be able to cater to all its customers during their peak hours so there's no choice but to take out.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Cha Dao Tea Place Menu
Ambiance Menu
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Cha Dao Tea Place Dapitan
Business Address 1411 Dapitan St. Sta. Cruz,
Manila, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-6pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 50-100
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (0927) 309-0646
Other  Facebook Fan Page
Cha Dao Tea Place Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Halo Halo de Iloko Balay: A Must Stop for Halo-Halo in La Union

Last summer, we Tsinoy Foodies went on our second out-of-town trip.  We just love Northern Luzon so after our first one in Baguio City, we went on with a wider scope which is La Union and the Ilocos Region.  

Ever since we arrived in La Union, I've been convincing fellow Tsinoy Foodie Kurt go to Halo Halo de Iloko Balay.  On our second day, after we went to Pugad: Pugo Adventure and we were supposed to head back to my aunt's house in Candon City, Ilocos Sur when Kurt finally gave in.  

halo halo de iloko balay
I was rejuvenated with glee upon reaching the colorfully lighted and artsy Halo Halo de Iloko.  There were many restaurants and homes there who offered unlimited halo-halo for a cheaper price but its amazing that all the crowd seemed to be gathered at Halo Halo de Iloko.  As we went in, we were lucky to find a seat quickly.  The server told us that there was a very long line just that afternoon so they were forced to ask some of their customers to come back.  


halo halo de iloko balay
Indoor Waiting Area
Halo Halo de Iloko is a two-storey house decorated with paintings, wood works, artifacts, bottles and other random artsy stuffs.  You could divide the restaurant in three parts.  There is the indoor part where we were seated, the annex and the second floor.  Each part has a different interior.  It's quite bizarre and at the same time amusing to look at.  


halo halo de iloko balay
Outdoor Waiting Area
The out waiting area is not as extravagant but I love the simple homey feel.  


halo halo de iloko balay

They had a store for souvenirs by the annex just before the kitchen.


halo halo de iloko balay
Just beside our table, we saw this framed collage of clippings where Halo Halo de Iloko was featured.   We've heard it has been featured in a lot of TV shows too and many celebrities have visited there.  Of course, that got me even more excited.

Food

Halo-Halo
buko halo halo
♥ Buko Halo-Halo (170 php)
I ordered the Buko Halo-Halo which is the a halo-halo composed of Ube Ice Cream, Ube San Gabriel, Yema Pandan, MilkPastilla de Leche, ube, macapuno, cereal, langka, kaong and shaved ice.  What makes their halo-halo special is that the ingredients are all the best from the Ilocos region.  It also came with a glass of buko juice.  Not only did it look cute with a mini umbrella and a leaf decoration, it was delicious too.  

Panciteria
palabokano
♥ Palabokano (150 php)
Kurt ordered the Palabokano which is their home-made palabok with home-made longganisa bits, leeks, egg, chicharon and vegetables.  We both agreed that this was a great innovation.  It made the ordinary version of the palabok more savory.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Halo Halo de Iloko serves an awesome halo-halo and other dishes that will surely satisfy you.  But, the most important part when dining at Halo Halo de Iloko is the ambiance.  Stay and be enthralled at its magical atmosphere.  Their pricing is very affordable too.  We will surely visit here again when in the area.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Halo Halo de Iloko Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2 |
Menu 3 | Menu 4 |
Menu 5 | Menu 6 |
Beverages |
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Halo Halo de Iloko
Business Address 12 Zandueta St.,
San Fernando, La Union, Philippines
Business Hours 10am-6pm
Payment Options Cash
Service Charge
Budget/Person 150-400
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (72) 700-2030; (0919) 388-3145;(0917)6527919
Other  Facebook Fan Page
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Wine Museum: Good Food and Wine

Wine Museum is a hotel and restaurant with a wine education center for those who want to learn to appreciate wines.

wine museum
Upon entry, we were caught sight of this painted wall with a imagery of a cellar.  

wine museum
Every artifact and display on the restaurant is related to wines such as this collection of corks.  It's a simple but visually appealing arrangement.


wine museum
The main dining area of the restaurant is not as spacious but they have function rooms for events on the second floor.  They also have a bar with displays of empty wine bottles.

Food

Salads
caesar salad
Caesar Salad (200 php)
The Caesar Salad with its crunchy croutons, fresh greens, bacon bits and adequate amount of dressing provide a wonderful starter.

Vegetables
spinach and white cheese
Spinach & White Cheese (125 php)
The Spinach & White Cheese is sauteed spinach with cubes of white cheese.  This doesn't only look healthy but it taste like one too. =D

Favorites
paella collonial
Paella Collonial (450 php)
The Paella Collonial did not meet my standards for a paella.  Not that I was complaining since the price was really affordable compared to others I've tried.  The saffron rice was a bit bland.  But, I liked that it had olives in it.


crispy toro
♥ Crispy Toro (325 php)
Since Wine Museum is owned by the Joseph's same as Nectar Restaurant.  They also have the Crispy Toro.  It still has its charm even on the second time around.  The crispy coating followed by the tender meat is just amazing.  

callos madrilenos
♥ Callos Madrilenos (350 php)
The Callos Madrilenos was had the right blend of rich flavor and texture of the ingredients. 

fish fillet ali oli
♥ Fish Fillet with Ali Oli (275 php)
The Fish Fillet with Ali Oli may loook plain but a bite of it will surely change your perspective.  The batter coating is perfectly crunchy concealing within the soft and succulent fish fillet that holds the freshness of the sea.  Together with the Ali Oli sauce, this is sure to stir your appetite and leave you wanting for more.

cabernet savignon wine
♥ Cabernet Savignon
Since we're in a Wine Museum, a bottle of wine or two to pair with our food enhances the experience.  Remember the basics of wine pairing or ask the servers for tips so you can order the right type of wine for your food.

Wine Education Center
After you dine, you can check out their wine education center and familiarize yourself about wines.  
wine museum
Get to know the types of wines.

Now you know what types of grapes are made to produce the wine.

wine museum
This is something I just learned then and there.  Could you believe that?

wine museum
There also have actual tools and artifacts related to wine making which is cool.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Wine Museum is a great place to start ones education for wines.  Not only do you get to enjoy the great food together with their affordable wines, you can also check out their Wine Education Center.  It is also a great place for a casual hang out with the pleasures of wine.  They also cater to functions and events.  The area is near the airport too so its a convenient stop-over if you are coming in from from a flight or going to take a flight soon.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Wine Museum Menu
Ambiance Breakfast, Short Orders and Drinks |
Main Menu |
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Wine Museum
Business Address 2253 Aurora Boulevard (formerly Tramo Road),
Pasay City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 8am-10pm
Payment Options Cash
Service Charge
Budget/Person 100-400
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 239-4278
Other  Website
Wine Museum Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

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